Fortunately, for mums-to-be, there are plenty of options to help you feel prepared and take the mystery out of childbirth in Cayman. A good class can teach you about pain relief, hospital procedures, and provide a forum for questions you forgot to ask your OB/GYN. These classes are also a wonderful way to meet other parents-to-be at a similar stage of pregnancy. They are also great for dad as taking a class helps him feel included, fully prepared and confident about his role during childbirth. – Jessica Wright
The Cayman Islands Hospital offers a free eight-week educational series called ‘Parent Craft’. Classes are held on Monday evenings 5.30pm-7.30pm at the Women’s Health Centre located at the Cayman Islands Hospital. There is no charge or need to register in advance.
Led by experts in the relevant fields, topics include, among others:
You will also be taken on a tour of the maternity ward so you can familiarise yourself with the facilities.
Call (345) 244 2649 for the schedule. If you miss classes, you may make them up during a subsequent eight-week course cycle.
The Lamaze method is one of the most common type of birth classes. Lamaze classes approach childbirth as a natural and healthy process and neither support nor discourage the use of medicine or medical interventions during labour and delivery. Instead, they inform mums-to-be about their options so that they can make decisions about their own birth plan.
RVC Rehab services offer both group and private Lamaze classes. The course consists of four two hour sessions with a maximum of 12 couples. The course covers topics such as:
Private classes, Doula classes and refresher childbirth classes are also available. Call (345) 949 6024 for more information.
Most first time mothers find the prospect of childbirth extremely daunting. The fear of the unknown and knowledge that births aren’t always straightforward, lead many women to employ a doula. Doulas provide non-medical support to women and can be invaluable in providing knowledgeable and emotional support to families during labour, childbirth and the postpartum period.
Most mums-to-be begin working with their doula prior to birth. Meeting several times before child birth will help everyone involved feel more comfortable with each other. Doulas are on hand to answer questions and talk about any fears. The doula will also be instrumental in helping the prospective parents create their birth plan.
A doula will act as an advocate for the mother during the birth, encouraging her and helping her achieve her birth plan. The goal of a doula is to help the mother experience a positive and safe birth, whether it is a medicated or un-medicated birth. They will remain close to the mother throughout the delivery and help provide comfort through non-medical pain relief such as breathing, massage and labour positioning.
A doula should be seen as complementing and enhancing dad’s role. Doulas know what to expect in a labour so they take the pressure off partners — especially first-time dads — who would otherwise constantly wonder, “What’s happening now?”. Having a doula allows dad to support their partner and enjoy the experience without having to remember everything he learned during childbirth classes! Doulas are not emotionally attached to mum, so they will remain calm and focused offering dad guidance and tips in an emotionally charged atmosphere.
Following the birth, the doula will spend time with the mother, helping with the first breastfeeding experience and encouraging the bonding process between parents and the baby.
With many new mums in Cayman living far away from family and in different time zones, the post-partum care offered in Cayman can really come in handy. Qualified, postnatal experts are on hand to help alleviate any concerns and help with breastfeeding and general baby care.
RVC Rehab Services offer home visits and lactation services to help mothers get off on the right foot with breastfeeding. Tel: (345) 949 6024.
The Children’s Clinic provides advice on lactation and newborn care. The nurse can assist with breastfeeding technique and general concerns at the clinic, at home or at the hospital. Tel: (345) 949 2970.
Nurturing Birth Experiences offer lactation services to help mothers get off on the right foot with breastfeeding. They offer in-home visits and work with mothers to address practical issues and help set realistic expectations for your baby and yourself. They will leave you with strategies to help you achieve your breastfeeding goals. Tel: (345) 949 6024.
The Cayman Islands Breastfeeding Support Group is a volunteer group which meets at least once a month to offer free support and education in breastfeeding to expecting and existing mothers. The volunteers visit new mothers in hospital and at home to offer free breastfeeding advice and support. They will rent hospital-grade Medela pumps in emergency situations and provide reasonably-priced breast pumps for mothers returning to work Visit www.facebook.com/cibreastfeeding or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
The midwives at the Woman’s Health Clinic offer free postnatal care and home visits for all patients. They can provide general and breastfeeding support as necessary after the birth of your child.
These services are also offered at the following health centres on-Island:
Bodden Town Health Centre Available Monday and Thursday 8.30am-8pm; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 8.30am-4pm and Saturday 8.30am-12pm. Tel: (345) 947 2299.
East End Health Centre Available Monday-Friday 8.30am-4pm and Saturday 8.30am-12pm. Tel: (345) 947 7440.
West Bay Health Centre available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 8.30am-4pm; Wednesdays 8.30am-8pm and Saturdays 8.30am-12pm. Tel: (345) 949 3439.
North Side Clinic Available Monday-Friday 8.30am-4pm; Saturday 8.30am-12pm. Tel: (345) 947 9525.
The Family Resource Centre (FRC) of the Department of Counselling Services also offers a range of individual and group-based parenting services. All FRC programmes are free and aim to help improve the lives of individuals and families within the community. For more information call (345) 949 0006 or email: email@example.com. Programmes include:
Young Parent Services
Designed for young mothers and their families; this programme supports the development of healthy parent-child relationships and provides practical tools for raising children.
A support group for fathers both single and in relationships to provide them with knowledge and strategies to build family relationships, as well as develop parenting tools and coping strategies.
Weekly sessions for families who are raising children between two separate households. Sessions aim to assist families with a successful transition from a one to two home family.
More and more parents are recognising the benefits of Chiropractic care for their newborns. Birth complications such as long labours, very fast labour, interventions during delivery or even restricted movement within the womb may also contribute to spinal restrictions (lack of movement) and muscular tension.
If the spine is not moving properly, this can affect how the nervous system is functioning and communicating with the rest of the body. In an infant, this may present itself as issues with feeding (poor latch, favouring one side), digestion (troubles releasing gas, constipation), poor sleep, or colic (fussiness, irritability).
Chiropractors will assess for alignment, movement and tension patterns in the neck and spine to allow for optimal nervous system function as the baby grows and develops. Chiropractic adjustments with newborns are extremely gentle, safe and effective at helping many common issues that typically present in the first year of life. Infant adjustments use no more pressure than you would apply when testing the ripeness of a tomato.
Dr. Jody Hrynuik is a Canadian Chiropractor with a special interest in perinatal and paediatric care. She obtained her kinesiology degree before going on to complete her Doctorate of Chiropractic in Toronto. Dr. Jody’s passion has led her to pursue further training in order to accommodate the specific needs of pregnant women and babies. She is currently a member with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
Contact: Synergy Chiropractic & Physiotherapy
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